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EasyJet: turbulence on the way

As the flights resume, there is growing concern among the aircrew. Possible industrial action

Peter Bellew, new Chief Operating Officer: hired to get results or to send the Company down?

Avionews received copy of the letter signed by the most representative trade unions  of the EasyJet Network, which should have been delivered to the shareholders, before the extraordinary general meeting requested by the founder and major shareholder of the company, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, on 22nd May the last.

In the letter, never arrived at its destination, censured by the easyJet board, before being delivered to the shareholders, in addition to expressing a negative opinion regarding the downsizing of the current fleet, according to the unions "not in the interest of the company ", the workers' representatives also expressed strong doubts about the integrity of the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) Peter Bellew, citing the words of the judge of the Irish Court, issued in the sentence following Ryanair's appeal against Bellew, for alleged violation of his contractual terms, in the transition from Ryanair to easyJet, which took place in January 2020.

From the official extracts of the Ryanair DAC dispute against Bellew, which can be read in full in the attachment below this AVIONEWS.

Judge Allen's judgment had in fact concluded that the current Easyjet COO had materially "deceived EasyJet during its pre-employment interviews", and according to the unions this judgment should have been taken into consideration by the company to protect the integrity of the 'company.

"Judge Allen's ruling in the Ryanair DAC case against Bellew concludes that the current COO has materially 'misled easyJet during his pre-employment interviews'", the unions say in the letter, continuing "we feel these combined with his performance since joining easyJet makes him unsuitable for a role as CEO of a listed company where the integrity is an absolute requirement. "

Peter Bellew in easyJet, just a few months ago, had already been the subject of strong public criticism in the United Kingdom for having widely underestimated the COVID-19 crisis, calling it "ridiculous media hype", referring in particular to the impact it was having in Italy at the end in February and also for trying to take advantage of the same to impose radical changes in the terms and conditions of the Aircrew in easyJet. Both of these episodes had been resumed and made public and had conveyed particularly serious comments and criticisms from a professional point of view, followed by direct apologies from the manager and no other action by the easyJet board of directors.

Why would the easyJet board have prevented this workers' representative letter from being delivered to shareholders before the General Meeting?

Why, despite the heavy criticisms on the integrity of the new manager, the company would have decided to invest everything right on him, entrusting him, in addition to the "Operations", also the supervision of the Safety Security and Compliance department (SSC), so far, under the exclusive direction of the CEO?

According to the unions, this new position is highly questionable and may not guarantee a solid safety management, especially during periods of cutbacks and austerity.

In these hours, in all the easyJet's Network, tension is cut with a knife, and in one of the latest union newsletter sent to crew, which arrived to the pilots based in Italy, there is even an appeal to executives who “still believe in the easyJet's orange spirit ”, to get rid of the new Chief Operating Officer.

Peter Bellew, hired by Easyjet for "the proven experience in obtaining results", to use the words of the CEO Johan Lundgren, therefore risks not having an easy life in this low cost carrier and being strongly opposed by the majority of the most representative's Unions.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency
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